It’s a wonder I ever cross the Charles

Bad day on the Red Line — and not just because of this morning’s mysterious delay. South Station was evacuated this afternoon after someone noticed a ticking sound coming from a bag.

What’s more, tonight, after the Tracy Bonham and Aimee Mann outdoor show in Copley Square and a yummy dinner with Terri, Ezra, and their friends Julie, Jim, and Christine, we ran into a little shall-we-say snafu. D had — wisely, it turns out — biked to the concert, but most of us were headed back toward Somerville on the T. When our Green Line car pulled into Park Street Station, we were told that the Red Line was closed and passengers had to board shuttles. The pathway to the Red Line stairs inside the station was caution-taped off and guarded by a poker-faced MBTA employee who cited the generic “medical emergency.” Fire engines and other emergency vehicles swarmed the Common. It was decided that we should walk to Charles Street and try to catch a train there (I have to admit, I was dubious that there’d be any service, but it was a nice night for a stroll). When we got to Charles Street Station, a burly guy told us to take a shuttle bus (every one of which we saw was packed cheek-by-armpit), so we walked across the Longfellow Bridge to Cambridge to try and get a cab at the Mariott in Kendall Square.

The cab ride was uneventful, save for the pink-warm-up-jacketed woman who leaned into the car at a light in Inman Square and asked the driver if she could “buy a peppermint, a spearmint, some gum” off of him. “I just ate something that’s making me nauseous,” she explained. The driver couldn’t find anything minty-fresh for her, and commented, “She couldn’t have too upset a stomach if she was lighting up a butt.”

No news so far on what’s up. The oddest part is, we saw two trains on the elevated track heading from Cambridge toward Park Street while we were at Charles, so the shutdown wasn’t due to a power outage.

Update: The Bad Transit site has an anonymous report of the incident, but still no official word on what happened and why it shut down service to such a large chunk of the route.

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